Saturday, April 25, 2009

Celebrate the Mundane!

Strangely enough, the current news is more astronomical in nature than astrological. Scientists have discovered the possibility of two new life-sustaining planets. Where? In the constellation of Libra, the sign of balance and harmony. Granted, there are issues, but it gives hope for future discoveries. On an astrological note, however, there is speculation that there are still two undiscovered planets; right now, Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo, and Venus rules Taurus and Libra. Every other sign-planet relationship is a 1:1 ratio. Maybe one of those planets will be able to sustain life, but it's a delicate balance.

Is your sun in Libra? Learn more about it here.

Balance. With four planets in my birth chart sitting happily in Libra (one of which being the sun), I try to keep things in balance. Unfortunately, this can lead to indecision, but in general, I think this is a good thing. There isn't much in life that doesn't have some kind of equal and opposite. After all, it's a Newtonian law: "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction." Then again, what's the equal and opposite reaction to gravity, Newt?

Most of us wish for only good things, and that's completely natural, but without the bad, what good are we? We need to see ourselves through bad times to know how strong we can be, to see the challenges we can overcome, to keep our minds from sinking into atrophied complacency. Beyond that, it would be near impossible to recognize the good without experiencing the bad. What about the neutral?

The irony of this equal and opposite world is that things aren't always black and white, and as such, how do we keep our lives in balance? And is balance always desired? Most people attempt to do more "good" than "bad" thereby striving for an imbalance, but this is considered a desirable imbalance. These terms are defined by society, helping us to understand and work towards developing our imbalanced lives so that by the end, we can say that we lived good lives. Everyday life is not usually classified as good or bad. It's everyday. We barely notice it. They're our routines. How much of our lives do we spend in routine? Brushing our teeth, taking the train or driving to work, and then there are work routines on top of that. It's only when something out of the ordinary happens that we sit up and take notice. And why not? We don't usually seek out books or movies about the ordinary unless they do something extraordinary to make themselves stand out. Why should we care?

Perhaps Stephen Sondheim had it right when he wrote the lyrics for Into the Woods: "Must it all be either less or more? Either plain or grand? Is it always or? Is it never and?" Perhaps that's the key to balance: finding the and and appreciating the or. And of course, this has its own opposite - to not find or appreciate. Even in negation, the or holds sway. So I suppose that all we can do is ride the or wave until the elusive and comes along and gives us a taste of more, so than when we return to or, we can appreciate it. Thus, a further lyric from Sondheim, "Just remembering you've had an and when you're back to or makes the or mean more than it did before."

I think the principle is sound. Most of life is a wave of ups and downs, but when it's calm and balanced, we have to appreciate that even keel; the everyday, the mundane, the routine, the ordinary. I just got over being sick and being able to brush my teeth or walk around my apartment without pain is a joy! Who knew such boring, mundane actions could feel good? Sure, it's by comparison. Perhaps, though, next time you're going through your routine, you might take a moment to find something new to notice about it. Make it your new routine!

After all, the very Earth we share has become pretty ordinary to most of us (unless we travel to a new place), but with all of the planets that science has explored, so far, there hasn't been an exact match and there aren't many near matches. I'd say that makes the "ordinary, balanced environment" we're used to pretty extraordinary.

Maybe I'm a biased Libran, but I say, "Yay, balance!"

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